Posts Tagged With: Skylar M. Cates

Honorary Blogger Skylar M. Cates: Dedications + Giveaway!

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Dedications

by Skylar M. Cates

Do you know what irritates me? When my kindle skips over the acknowledgements and dedication pages and always takes me to the first chapter. Maybe I’m a nerd, but I enjoy reading the author’s notes and acknowledgments.

Secrets of You, the fourth book in my Sunshine and Happiness series, has a special dedication. Before I write about it, and I’m a little choked up to do so, I wanted to reflect on some of my previous dedications and what they meant to me.

As I went back to various books and the dedications, each one did have significance. Here are a few that I wanted to share:

Exposed: A first book really is a baby, so who better than Mom to dedicate it to?  A day or so before Exposed was to be on the coming soon page at Dreamspinner, I had a nerve-jangling attack. The book wasn’t ready! It could still be better! I’m taking it back! Mom came to my rescue.

It was my mom who reassured me, cheered me on, and made me take that final leap of faith. She really was my hero that week.

Dedication: And for my mom, my eleventh-hour champion

The Guy from Glamour: Aware of the dedication to my mother in my first novel, my sister said all her friends teased her. Where was she in my acknowledgments? She had to defend our sisterly bond from the doubters.  Although she was joking (sort of), I could tell she wished a book would be dedicated to her too. The Guy from Glamour seemed a perfect choice. The book had sisters, after all, lots of them. Siblings played an important role in the book.

Dedication:  This book is dedicated to Karen, my big sister and my friend

Lovers, Losers, and You:  This wasn’t the first novel that I dedicated to my kids; however, it was the first novel they all took an avid interest in discussing. No, they haven’t read it (yet), but my kids often heard me bemoaning plot and character points with my husband (who nodded in all the correct places), and they began to offer “help”.  In the book, there’s a reality cooking show, and at the time, my daughters loved shows like Cupcake Wars and Master Chef Jr., so I used some of that for inspiration. Each one of my kids wanted to create a judge. I have three kids= three judges. I took notes on the gender, personality and looks. I used what they told me. One day I would love to see them actually read about the judges that they helped their mom create. For now, it makes me smile when I reread those competition scenes.

Dedication: For Ariana, Jared, and Talia—thanks for the judges!

Secrets of You: My original person to thank was my husband. He is the best at giving me time to create. I had the dedication there, ready to go.

Then I changed it.

Editors don’t often get the credit they so richly deserve. They can take an author’s words and improve them. They can talk you off the ledge. They can make you shine. If you’re lucky, as I have been, they are also friends.

At the start of Secrets of You, my head editor Sue was leave, for reasons I didn’t know, but I was assured she was coming back for the second half of the editing process. Sadly, Sue was unable to return. For personal reasons, she had to leave DSP for a longer period.

Although the substitute editor was excellent too, I missed my friend. Only Sue had been with me through the creation of the Sunshine and Happiness series to here. She once joked “I speak Skylar,” and that was for real. She got me.

I decided my hubby could get some other dedication (and had been in other dedications already). Before the final draft went to print, I altered the page.

Dedication: For Sue Adams.

Sue, I miss your expert eye and warm heart. Be well.

There is a second part to my dedication in Secrets of You.

Without readers, writing can be a lonely and frustrating task. On the bad days, it’s enough to make a writer want to stick the manuscript in the closet.

I certainly have felt this way. But then I wonder if somebody is actually waiting and wanting my book? And I push through the doubts.

If you ever are considering sending a writer a small note of appreciation, I’m here to tell you to do it. It matters. A whole lot!

Dedication:

To the loyal readers of this series—you’re the miracle that makes me want to write. You’re the bright sunshine in my day. Thank you!

Writers do not have to leave dedications; it’s optional, but I always do it. How often do we get a chance to thank the important people in our lives? These days, especially, I want to remember to be grateful.

So, guys, next time the kindle jumps to the first chapter, maybe scroll back? Take a look? You never know what dedication is waiting.

Thanks for hosting me today!blogger_bee_trans

About Secrets of You

secretsofyoufs_v1It’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?

While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.

Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon

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About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Find out more about Skylar on her Blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Blogger_Giveaway

Skylar has graciously offered up a copy of the Secrets of You e-book or choice E-book from her backlist to one lucky winner!! The giveaway starts now and ends March 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just comment below with who you would dedicate a novel to and why?

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Book Review: Daring the Wolf by Skylar M. Cates

Reviewed by JustJen

31127637Title: Daring the Wolf
Author: Skylar M. Kates
Heroes: Gabe/Ethan
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 121 Pages
Publisher: Treading Water Productions
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Can a human ever dominate a werewolf?

Living in a strict world of paranormal dos and don’ts is exhausting for Gabe Ryan. After fleeing his home when he became a werewolf, Gabe attempts to forget his family and the young boyfriend he left behind. But he is still haunted by his memories—until a birthday wish leads him to an unexpected confrontation.

A busy emergency room doctor, Ethan Dunn has closed off his heart. He sure as hell does not trust Gabe Ryan, not after the way he abandoned Ethan. If Gabe wants a second chance, he better be ready to risk everything and break all the rules between humans and wolves.
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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Lovers, Losers, and You by Skylar M. Cates

Guest Reviewed by Morgan 

26089185Title: Lovers, Losers, and You
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Series: Sunshine and Happiness #2
Heroes: Owen King/Andrew Teagan
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 220 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  How can you lose one dream and still find another?
Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.

Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.

When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: Here For You by Skylar M. Cates

Reviewed by JustJen

1Title: Here For You
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Heroes: Cole/Ian
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 234 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 27, 2015
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Life is a thread connecting us. One pull and it all unravels.

Cole Gannon arrives in the seaside town of Ocean Vista to work as a bartender and finally find a place to belong. Determined to make a home for himself, Cole lives happily with his four colorful roommates, whom he considers brothers. The only problem is Cole’s attraction to Ian Stark—a guy all wrong for him. He wishes he didn’t keep running into the sexy lawyer.

Ian knows Cole is attracted to him, but the younger man keeps him at arm’s length. It only makes Ian more determined to be with Cole and learn all his secrets. But while Ian has built a successful law practice, he hasn’t done too well with relationships.

When a sudden and devastating tragedy occurs, it shatters Cole’s world and throws Cole and Ian together in unexpected ways. In an instant, everything between them changes forever.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giveaway Winners!

It’s time to pick some giveaway winners! Woohoo!

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The winner of an eBook copy of The Devil’s Ride hosted K.A. Merikan is… Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger Skylar M. Cates: Caught in Fake Romance + Giveaway!

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Caught in Fake Romance

by Skylar M. Cates

For Lady Gaga it might be all about the bad romance, but I’m obsessed lately with the fake ones. I must be. Without even realizing it, I wrote two books with pretend relationships in them.

In The Last Guy Breathing, Henry and Locke must pretend to be a couple to solve a crime. In The Holiday Hoax, Evan and JD fake a relationship to fool Evan’s parents and save face. The two books are hugely different in tone and plot, so I was actually surprised they shared this feature. I had to ask myself: what is it about the fake romance trope that it continues to thrive?

In the fake relationship,  the idea is that two people are tossed together due to circumstances outside of their control and must pretend to be a couple. They might be hostile to each other at the beginning. This is true for Henry and Locke in The Last Guy Breathing.  Forcing them to spend time together, though, gives them an opportunity to see beyond the angst to the real person underneath.

The Holiday Hoax is a sweeter one.  They start out as potential friends with no intentions of becoming lovers.  As their friendship deepens, so does their possibility for romance.

In both The Last Guy Breathing and The Holiday Hoax, the couples risk exposure. Will somebody find out their secret? What will happen if the truth comes out?  Most importantly, the MCs must work for their happily ever after. The fun, of course, is watching them go from pretense to true love.  I had a good time writing these two novels, and I hope you enjoy them.

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About The Last Guy Breathing

2Henry Clueley doesn’t want to be in Glamour, not after moving far away to overcome a difficult, if privileged, childhood. He’s no longer that pudgy kid desperate to escape his hometown, but it still holds painful memories. When his recently widowed mother needs him, however, “dependable Henry” does the right thing—even if it means leaving the IRS to take a boring corporate position. Things don’t stay boring for long. Soon Henry helps the local sheriff’s department unravel a crime. Posing as half of a fake couple seems like a fun idea… until Henry learns he already knows the deputy playing his other half.

Deputy Locke may be new to the Glamour Sheriff’s Department, but he’s fought his way up in the world and is determined to make a good impression. He keeps his private life quiet, even from his beloved younger brother. Locke knows better than most the need to protect what’s his.

Henry resents the arrogant, gorgeous cop, and Locke thinks Henry is sheltered and spoiled. Their secret and steamy encounter only adds to the animosity. As they join forces, Henry thinks a relationship with Locke would be catastrophic, but the white-hot passion between them makes it hard to resist.

Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon

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About The Holiday Hoax

1I’m Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let’s not forget—recently dumped. If only my family wasn’t expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens—a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself. When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas. But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays so I can take him home. It’s a win-win. What could go wrong?

Available at: Dreamspinner Press and Amazon

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About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Find out more about Skylar on her Website, Facebook or Twitter.

Blogger_Giveaway

Skylar has graciously offered up an eBook copy of winner’s choice from Skylar’s backlist!! The giveaway starts now and ends December 18, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.

Don’t forget to check out JustJen’s review of The Last Guy Breathing and Nikyta’s review of The Holiday Hoax to see what they thought of them!

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Book Review: The Holiday Hoax by Skylar M. Cates

Reviewed by Nikyta

1Title: The Holiday Hoax
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Heroes: Evan Goodman/JD Laurens
Genre: M/M Contemporary/Holiday
Length: 83 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press and Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: I’m Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let’s not forget—recently dumped. If only my family wasn’t expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens—a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself. When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas. But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays so I can take him home. It’s a win-win. What could go wrong?
Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skylar M. Cates Giveaway Winner!

The Only Guy by Skylar M. Cates eBook

And the winner of either The Only Guy or The Guy From Glamour by Skylar M. Cates is… Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger Skylar M. Cates: Lessons on Writing a Series + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Lessons on Writing a Series

by Skylar M. Cates

About a year ago, I set a goal for myself. Well, I set a few goals: clean my house more, lose some weight, save more money, write a series. I’m proud to say that while my house remains a mess and the scale has not budged, my series is one goal that I have actually achieved.

The Guy from Glamour, book one, began to take shape in my mind when I pictured a very loving, if slightly meddling family. I wanted a main character that was all about his family. From that point, I knew that the other MC must be his opposite. He must be somebody who has no family and does not think he will ever have love—-Anthony and Dean were created.

It was at the halfway point in this novel when I began to wonder if it should become a series. Readers often write to me and ask about a sequel to my other novel Exposed, and while that might happen someday, part of the reason it has not happened is that I did not plan it. Honestly, I was so excited and nervous to publish the book that the idea of doing more never occurred to me.

Lesson One: Plan Ahead

As I wrote Anthony and Dean’s love affair, I realized I could do it.  I loved these two guys and their world, and I could write a series around them. I was so excited! I wrote about a dozen pages of notes.  But I needed to figure out if their story should continue into multiple books or if their friends would each get books of their own. I’m a fan of both types of series. For The Guy Series, however, I decided to have the secondary characters find love too. Anthony and Dean, and their clan, would and do continue into the other books—that way their story also continues—but the focus would be on Aaron Weiss and Henry Clueley.  Possibly, if readers want it, I might give Mac (from The Only Guy) his story too.

One day, I might attempt the other type of series. For some reason, I feel as if the two MC’s need to be cops solving crimes, or supernatural beings, in order for an ongoing series about the two of them to continue.  For now, I was happy to write the spinoffs.

As I worked on The Only Guy, it was helpful to keep The Guy from Glamour nearby. I had to be careful with every detail, such as the spelling of minor characters names, to major details involving Aaron’s back story as a Night Stalker.

Lesson Two: Check the facts

*Important note—whatever happens in book one, must be reflected in book two

As book two nears its release, I realize the pressure on a series is far greater than on a single book. The fact that many readers liked The Guy From Glamour was awesome and I am so grateful to them for letting me know, but it would be a lie to say it didn’t make finishing The Only Guy a little worrisome. I love Aaron and Jesse’s story so much, and I’m eager to see how readers like them, but it’s kind of like comparing my children. But they are bound together, for better or worse.

Lesson Three: A Promise is a Promise

My final lesson involves Henry’s story. As I submitted The Only Guy for consideration, I began the last story, The Last Guy Breathing. The characters came to me quickly, and their enemies to lovers trope was fun to write. However, I challenged myself with this one to add a few twists. It has a mystery element to it that was new for me. But that’s what keeps life interesting, isn’t it? Continued challenges. I wrote over 74,000 words and realized that the mystery part wasn’t as strong as I wanted. But what to do? Scrap 74k? Forget Henry’s story? I had set it up in The Only Guy, and I had promised a trilogy to DSP and my readers… So no—–that was not an option.

I rolled up my sleeves, called in my beta readers, and I revised the novel. It took me twice as long to finish as The Guy from Glamour or The Only Guy, but I have to say that I’m thrilled with results! (At the time of this post, Henry’s story was accepted by Dreamspinner and will be out in December 2014/January 2015 = Hooray!)

Will I ever do another series? I hope so! For now, I’m happy to see Anthony and Dean, Aaron and Jesse, and Henry and Locke go on their way.

Thanks for hosting me!

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About The Only Guy

The Only Guy by Skylar M. Cates eBookAaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.

Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he’s shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.

As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.

Available at: Dreamspinner PressAmazonBarnes and Noble

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Excerpt from The Only Guy

One of my favorite things about The Only Guy was doing the childhood scenes. Here is an excerpt from that time. At this point in the story, Aaron has a crush on Gregory, Jesse’s older brother:

Aaron glanced at Gregory’s body one more time as he walked off in the direction of the cabin, noticing how Gregory’s tight shorts clung to his ass. If only Gregory would loosen up a little, forget all the rules for his future plans and just, well, see him. Aaron would be his for life.

“Come on,” Jesse said, pulling at Aaron’s arm. “Forget him.”

They walked down a path, crunching over the dirt and twigs, following the animal’s throaty cries of pain.

“I hope it’s all right.”

“Me too.”

The sky was thick with clouds, but the heat permeated the air. His shirt stuck to his skin, his stomach rumbled, and Aaron half regretted coming along. He swiped his hand over his forehead as Jesse hurried to keep up with him. Although tall for his age, Jesse was all bony angles, and his stride was awkward. Aaron slowed his pace a little, allowing Jesse to match him.

“When we’re all grown up, do you think we’ll still be coming here?” Jesse stole a glance at him. “’Cause I think we will. We’ll spend every summer right here. We could come other times too. I bet it’s pretty in the winter with all the snow. But definitely in the summer, we’ll be here.”

Aaron’s mouth curved into a smile. “Maybe.”

Jesse nodded back seriously as if the matter had been settled.

The path narrowed, and they fell quiet as they maneuvered the trial. Soon they saw drops of fresh blood. Finally, near a patch of browned grass, Jesse halted and moved to point at something that lay eerily still. Aaron edged closer. The animal was all curled up into a ball, making it impossible to see it, but Aaron thought it might be an injured raccoon. There was a puddle of blood by its left hind leg.

“You could tie your bandana onto its leg?” Jesse suggested. “It isn’t moaning now. Maybe it’s passed out and would let you?”

“I don’t know….”

Jesse gave him a resolute stare. “You could try.”

Sometimes Jesse sounded just like an adult but with a kid’s scrawny body. It was unnerving.

After approaching it slowly, Aaron nudged it with his sneaker and it didn’t move. Now that he could see it up close—

“Holy crap! That’s a skunk! Let’s get the hell out of here. Now!”

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About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

You can reach Skylar by Email, Website, Facebook or Twitter

Blogger_Giveaway

The Blogger Girls are trying something a little different this time. Instead of strictly commenting, we’re going to try using Rafflecopter as our giveaway source. This means, you can get more entries if you do all the options!

Anyway, the prize in this giveaway is reader’s choice on either The Guy from Glamour or The Only Guy in ebook! To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.

Don’t forget to check out JustJen’s reviews of The Only GuyThe Guy from Glamour to see what she thought of them!

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Book Review: The Only Guy by Skylar M. Cates

Reviewed by JustJen

21897596Title: The Only Guy
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Series: The Guy #2
Heroes: Aaron/Jesse
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 26, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Aaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.

Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he’s shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.

As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.  Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment